Time  6 hours 18 minutes

Coordinates 2183

Uploaded September 5, 2019

Recorded July 2019

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-
685 f
0 f
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2.7
5.4
10.88 mi

Viewed 86 times, downloaded 2 times

near Alai, País Vasco (España)

This excellent hike between Zumaia and Deba is an absolute recommendation. It takes you along a geological interesting Flysch (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flysch for more information) coast with spectacular rock formations, through quiet countryside with sea and mountain views, past two hermitages, and popular beaches. I parked my car in Deba, took the E1 line (see https://www.euskotren.eus; frequency once an hour) to Zumaia and walked back to Deba. The hike is partly on the Camino to Santiago de Compostela and the GR121 long distance trail. You will find plenty to eat and drink in both Zumaia and Deba, but nothing in between, apart from a pick-nick spot with water taps close Elorriaga. I took a path on a Flysch rock beach which is only accessible at low-tide, but can easily be by-passed at high-tide (see waypoint ‘Flysch beach access at low tide’). A short-cut (1.1 km and 50 m ascent less, but uneven ground) on a Flysch rock and boulder beach can be taken near Zumaia if the tide is low, which it was not when I was at that particular section of the hike (see waypoint ‘Acces to Flysch beach at low tide’). I parked my car behind the Deba station for free (Mariñel Kalea), other parking close to the station or beach is not for free. Close to the Zumaia station is also free parking (Urola Enparantza Plaza). The hike is marked ‘Average’ because the paths are generally without difficulties apart from a bit of ascent. The section on the flysch beach is a bit more tricky with scrambling and a rope-assisted ascent.
From Zumaia station you walk to the Urola river, and walk along it to the old city center. You walk past the San Pedro church and then continue towards Zumaia beach surrounded by flysch rocks. After having had a look you return from the beach and walk to San Telmo Ermita, a chapel overlooking the beach and the flysch rock formations surrounding it. From here you walk close to and along a sharp-edged cliff. At the end is a viewpoint and you descend to a point where you could descend to a flysch beach at low-tide (not during my walk). Instead you take the indicated hiking trail up the hill to the crest of a hill above Zumaia with great views all around. You now follow the Camino for a while, but then keep to the right on a trail which opens up to good coastal views. The trail, like the Camino, ends up at the pick-nick place with playground and water taps near Eloraggia. Here you go down towards a viewpoint above the flysch coast. Below you can see a meandering gravel road coming up from the beach. Shortly after returning from the viewpoint you enter this gravel road (where you would end up if you would take the trail on the flysch beach described above), and follow it to the hamlet of Eloraggia. Here you follow the GR121 trail which leads through a forest towards the farm Arantza Goikoa. You descend towards the sea through more forest until you come to the viewpoint Portutxiki. A bit further you come to a rocky beach. At low-tide (like during my walk) you can walk across the flysch rocks and around the cliffs to the Sakoneta Beach. This is a beautiful section with very peculiar rocks. The alternative at high-tide is the GR121 path on the edge of the cliffs which takes you above Sakoneta Beach. The going is slow on the flysch rocks and a bit of scrambling is required. At the end of the beach there is a rope hanging down from the cliffs facilitating your ascent from the beach. Up on the cliffs you continue on GR121 with more rocky beaches below. You then deviate from the GR121 to climb the viewpoint Mendatagaina. The views here are magnificent. You go back to GR121 and descend through forest to a former railway line. The gravel path on the railway line takes you through a tunnel and on even ground to viewpoint Itxaspe. The tunnel here is barred, and you follow a trail over the hill and then down to a waste water treatment. You ascend again and cross the N-634 road via stairs in a tower and a footbridge. You climb through pasture to the Ermita Santa Katalina. Again the views are great. You now descend (not via GR121) to Deba on a smaller track with good views of the beach at Deba and the coast beyond. After completing the descent you walk across the promenade on the beach towards the river Deba. Here you follow the river towards Deba station, the end of this track.
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Access to Flysch beach at low tide

There are steps taking you down to the rocky flysch beach at low tide, and you can then go around the cliffs and follow the beach with flysch and boulders beyond for about 1.7 km to where a winding gravel road takes you up and away from the beach. After about 1.3 km on this road you connect to the track I did. I have never been on this flysch beach but this low-tide track is indicated on various maps.
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Algorriko Muturra

Viewpoint below the ridge of the flysch formations
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Along Urola river

Walking and cycling path next to Urola river taking you into Zumaia center.
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Climb through fields to Santa Katalina

Climb through fields to Santa Katalina
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Climb to hill ridge above Zumaia

You follow the GR121 path taking you up to a hill crest above Zumaia with good views. Various paths have been blocked and you are warned not to cross the pasture.
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Deba Boulevard

Promenade along Deba beach
Train stop

Deba Station

Train station. The Euskotren E1 line takes you to Zumaia. See https://www.euskotren.eus/en/tren/horarios for a timetable. Trains go every hour and take about 17 minutes to Zumaia.
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Descent to Deba

Narrow and sometimes steep path down to Deba
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Descent to former railway line

From here you descend on GR121 through a forest towards a former railway line
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Elorriaga

Hamlet. The GR121 trail continues from here towards the coast through a forest
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Farm Arantza Goikoa

Farm on the GR121. From here you descend further to the coast.
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Flysch beach access at low tide

Here you can go down on the beach and walk on the flysch rocks and go around the cliffs towards Sakoneta Beach, at low-tide. At high-tide just continue on the GR121 track.
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Former railway line

Former railway line now turned into a gravel path
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Hill ridge above Zumaia

On this hill ridge you follow the Camino and GR121 trail for some time, but also make a seaward detour before you get to the pick-nick spot at Elorriaga
panorama

Itxaspe viewpoint

Itxaspe viewpoint is a short way from the railway line. At the start of the trail is a tunnel on the former railway line, now barred
panorama

Mirador de Mendatagaina

Great viewpoint on a high hill above the flysch coast
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Pick-nick location

Play ground, pick-nick and water taps
panorama

Portutxiki

Viewpoint above the flysch coast
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Promenade along Deba river

Promenade along Deba river
Beach

Sakoneta Beach

There is some sand here, but mostly flysch rocks
Sacred architecture

San Pedro Church

Church in the center of Zumaia.
Sacred architecture

San Telmo Ermita

Chapel above Zumaia beach on a cliff. You have an excellent view of the beach below, and the sharp-edge cliff on which you continue the hike a bit later.
Sacred architecture

Santa Katalina ermita

Chapel on the highest point of the hill
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Steep access with rope from Flysch beach

From here you climb the cliff from the beach with the help of a rope.
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Tower and bridge to pass N-634

Here you climb a tower and cross a bridge to pass N-634
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Tunnel

Tunnel on the former railway
Beach

View of Zumaia Beach

View above Zumaia beach, a sandy beach surrounded by flysch rocks.
panorama

Viewpoint above Flysch coast

Viewpoint above the flysch coast. Below you can see the winding gravel road from the beach you would take if you would have taken the trail across the flysch and boulder beach at waypoint "Acces to Flysch beach at low tide"
panorama

Viewpoint end of ridge

At the end of the sharp-edged ridge is a viewpoint with excellent views of the flysch coast directly below and the rocky beach and coast beyond
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Zumaia Center

Via Calle Txomin Agirre you walk into the center away from the river

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